For most people looking to buy a property, be it their own home or an investment purchase, it’s more likely than not that they will need to take out a mortgage to achieve their ownership goal.
This can be a time-consuming, confusing, and even emotional process with low rates accounting for just one aspect of choosing a lender, highlighting the importance of shopping around before settling on a mortgage.
In general, banks have the fewest options available as they only offer their own products, but may be more flexible if they’re lending their own money. Alternatively, mortgage brokers offer the largest number of options, as they can shop your loan among many lenders, gaining them access to better pricing than anyone else. Ultimately, top mortgage lenders are able to provide a competitive rate, whilst making the process as seamless as possible.
Here are a few tips that can help you find the best mortgage companies.
Tip #1: Do your homework online
Harness the power of the Internet to give you a wider perspective than you can gain from family and friends. You can find reviews of the best home loan lenders with just a few clicks. As with all online reviews, remember to consider trends, a few very bad (or very good) reviews may be an anomaly, while dozens of good or bad reviews probably get you closer to the truth.
Tip #2: Ask friends and family
Local lenders may not have as many online reviews, so asking around can be crucial in helping you find the best mortgage companies in your area. Conduct a quick survey of your family and friends, especially if they’ve recently purchased or refinanced a home.
Ask whether they felt they understood the lending process, whether their agent was prompt and courteous, and whether they feel they got the best rate they could. Real-estate agents may also steer you towards a reputable company.
Tip #3: Compare apples to apples
When you’re comparing mortgages, it’s important to focus not just on the interest rate, but at the rate and all the fees, including points, origination fees and any other fees charged by the lender. For example a “no-fee” loan just means the fees are included in the rates, so it’s critical that every aspect of a mortgage is considered.
Tip #4: Be conscious of time
As the number of products on the market increases (now more then 2000) and changes to lending polices make finding the right mortgage an increasingly complicated process, it is important to be conscious of how time consuming choosing a mortgage can be to avoid making a rushed decision.
As a result, time saving has become a significant driver in the increase of people who are choosing to engage the service of a mortgage broker (now above 50% of residential mortgage flow), as they are likely to save people more time and money as they move through the mortgage process.
If you’re in the market for a new mortgage, or would like to better understand your options when it comes to refinancing an existing one, get in touch with one of our Chapter Two consultants today.